What I wanted to say, I can't really say anymore, because the post published right before this one was completed yesterday. I guess what I can say is: this IceBlock post is the first full post that I'm writing after finally moving to California.
Yup, after more than eight years of wanting to leave New York and move here, specifically, I finally did it. I finally made another dream of mine a reality. I finally accomplished what I truly believe is the most difficult goal I ever set for myself.
I left New York on March 9th and was blessed to have my mom's company until the 13th, the day she had to fly back. I considered that my first official day here in southern California, for the purpose of living and not for vacation.
This is my second week away from family, my second week to finally really start my life. To think the hardest part is over is naive. I guess you could say that's why I'm writing this post.
My friend Maxi shared a memory on Facebook. It was about a previous IceBlock post that you can find here, written in March of 2014 - my first IceBlock post for that particular year. "You should write about the starting point," he said.
The image at the start of that post was a clip from a video I had just edited of my ferret Lola, who is now 2800 miles away. I feel myself crying again. At the end of the post, I was optimistic:
"I truly am excited to get my life going. After college I decided that I only wanted to spend 2 more years in NYC. Well, by the end of this year those two years will be up. No matter what I decide to do, time is ticking by. I can easily get intimidated by the immediacy of it all but I'm happy to say that, instead, I'm motivated to try harder. I know I can achieve my goals if I really give them my all.
That's what 2014 has been about thus far. Trying, trying, and trying again, harder than before.
Here is to a year filled with accomplishment and change for all of us. Stop putting things off and start getting things done!"
Well, I tried and I succeeded. It is March of 2016, two years later, and I'm writing to you from California. But this is only the start of my life here, and realistically this start is just a continuation of the previous end, my life in New York. Things aren't going to get easier anytime soon. Happiness is still a real effort away. And I'm here mainly to tell you how I've been feeling in the past two weeks, because I think it's important that I do so.
There is a mix of emotions: excitement, loneliness, optimism, fear, pride, regret, possibility, and impossibility. There are days that I don't realize what is going on. There are nights where I lay down after a great day and the split-second image of my house makes me cry that messy, ugly type of crying that can only be stopped with sleep. I think of the empty house, of my mom who I made so lonely, of my stepdad and abuela that I won't see for weeks to months, of the ferret that was like my baby who I had to leave behind, perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently. I am with someone that I love in the place that I wanted to be for what feels like eternity, but the reality that I expected yet could have never fully understood is here: is there a happiness in this place that makes the loss worth it?
I am unemployed and home alone for a good part of the day. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity by my boyfriend's family to stay with them at their house. It's the only reason why I was able to move now, and not months from now. January and February were a whirl of confusion and frustration. First I was moving in January, then the end of January, then the beginning of February, then the end of February, until finally early March became the definite date. My mom wasn't okay with it of course, because she dreaded the day I would leave. She's my best friend, and I'm hers. I cry thinking how I must have forced her to agree to March, how the house is that much emptier without me. It's an awful thing to plague myself with but all of this is inevitable. I have to live through the loss. It's the only way to see if I can really be happy here, the way I hoped I could.
I put off writing this update to my life because things are perhaps harder than when I was still cursing through each snow-dusted, freezing day in New York. My family is across the country with the dormant shell of a life I had to leave behind. I'm at the beginning of 'starting from scratch,' and for now I think I find myself so, so sad to the point that I'm more sad than I am happy.
But this is the reality of it.
I am grateful that my mom came with me for the few days that she could. I never thought she'd come to California and that in itself was another dream-turned-real. My mom got remarried last year and the result was an addition, and extension, to our family. What used to be just me and her wasn't the case anymore, and I know that sounds sad but it is and it isn't. I do miss the days that my mom and I hung out during all of our free time, but at the same time my stepdad is a sweet, loving person that has thus far treated my mom respectfully and given her the type of companionship that she hasn't had successfully for years. In a way the timing of his arrival was very helpful, because it means that my mom isn't entirely alone now that my room is empty.
The thing is, aside from the marriage, I broke up with my boyfriend whom my mother knew and loved, and started dating someone else who was a stranger to her. The whole ordeal put a huge strain on our relationship that did to it something I did not want at all: it put up this sort of transparent wall. Transparent because it wasn't definitely there, but a wall nonetheless because I know a lot went unsaid between us that was being felt. My mom's trip to California mended much of what needed to be fixed, and gave us a setting where we could spend time together the way we used to. It let me be with just my mom for a full four days, which I was grateful for then but can say with complete certainty that I am especially grateful for now, knowing she's so far away.
I am also grateful for the conversation we had the night before her flight back. She asked me a lot of questions regarding my relationship and my future. What did I see in him? Could I reach my goals and expectations in life with him? Could I see a future with him? What was it that I wanted in life? Some of my answers were vague, when I could even piece them together.
There was one thing she said that really sat with me, though. It sat in my mind that night, the day of her flight, the ride home from the airport, and many days and nights to follow, up to the very present. She told me to remember that this person's family was opening their home to me, that he really cared for me, and that while my happiness is something I need to always consider and aim for, other people's feelings and lives are affected by my decisions. That I really need to know what it is that I want. That I can't just walk away from something when I decide that I'm tired of it.
Common sense, right? But the truth is that those were words that I needed to hear, and from my mom specifically. Even though I, like many others, will yes to death everything said above, the truth is that I've done the exact opposite already. That's precisely why she told me all of it. I've gone through much of my recent life with my eye on a future goal. I've had relationships that never followed the norm, that I took for granted. I've hurt people and lost track of what it is that I wanted in life, outside of where I wanted that life to be. There is someone still hurting out there because of an abrupt decision I made months ago. There's a hypothetical life that was so set on happening just floating around with a myriad of other ghosts. But to make the same abrupt decision, to send off the ghost of a life happening in real time - one that involves the direct commitment of another person...
I can't do that. I need to know what I want now. No; I needed to know what I wanted before I even got here. Before I said 'yes' to staying with someone. Before they became truly invested in me and my agreement to them.
That has been scaring me. The life that I kept justifying the delay of, because I wasn't where I wanted to be, has already started. This is what they call 'growing up.' Take responsibilities of your words and your actions and be an adult.
Fear and sadness and regret and uncertainty are ugly faces to deal with, but they're probably a bigger part of life than their opposites are. So, with that being said, dealing with them all at once is where I stand for now. It's a situation I've borderline carelessly created for myself, and now I have to deal with it in order to determine whether or not this chapter in my life is the start of the rest or another isolated experience to learn from.
Other than that, I'm doing okay. The weather here is beautiful. The family I am with is immensely kind and welcoming, and it's nice to sleep to the breathing of someone instead of the hum of a call. I've applied to multiple jobs in the past week, but have yet to hear from them - another thing I'll have to get used to. My blog is my job for now, though it has no monetary value attached to it. It's me, the sun, and a distance of miles and hours that may potentially never go away.
I will just continue forward one day at a time.